From our Yoga teacher, Donna Farhi …
“Recently I taught a weekend workshop on the practice of Yoga Nidra in Hobart, Tasmania. After reading the evaluations from the fifty people who attended, I was struck by how many of the participants commented on their desire to be more emotionally open yet not knowing how to do this or where to begin.
Very few of us arrive into adulthood having had any training in being with many of our experiences or communicating our feelings to others. Yet, in just a few days of using the simple practice of Yoga Nidra many of the participants felt this had given them essential skills for learning to meet, greet and manage their experiences in a way that built their confidence in opening to life’s inevitable changes.
Central to building this new skill is understanding that there is no part of us that needs to go into exile to do this practice called Yoga. When we learn to meet our experience in the same way that we would meet a good friend we gradually build our capacity to be with ourselves when we’re up and when we’re down.
If there is no ideal way to be, and nothing that needs to get squashed or stowed away, we can welcome our experience in the same way that we might attend to a friend who has arrived at our door in distress . . . with compassion and with a listening heart.
Learning to befriend ourselves in this way is one of the most palpable ways that we can instill a sense of kindness towards ourselves and towards others.
I certainly understand how frightening it can be to open to emotions without having the skill to manage the experience. During my early adulthood I struggled with debilitating depression, anxiety and at times overwhelming despair brought about by trauma from my childhood. Looking back I see that I often put these experiences aside so that I could do Yoga, or more accurately, I did Yoga to control and suppress these experiences. My recent study of the more contemporary protocol of iRest Yoga Nidra, has given me new tools to understand and facilitate the process of meeting experience in a way that allows the individual to gauge their own threshold for being with all parts of themselves in a safe and loving way.
It fills my heart with joy to see how quickly people implement these teachings in a way that is radically transforming both their lives and the lives of their loved ones.
The Heart Aroused Yoga Intensive and Yoga Nidra
In a few weeks I’ll be offering a longer 5-day intensive called The Heart Aroused in Western Australia (full info here >>), and again later in the year in Auckland, New Zealand (full info here >>), where we have the opportunity to explore these teachings in greater depth, and as a complement to embodied practices such as somatic inquiry and organic asana exploration. Both intensives will be accompanied with live music by sound artist Prabhu and Kirtan singer Joan Miller. I hope you can join me for what promises to be a magical journey into the heart.”
with warmth, Donna Farhi
*Yoga Nidra with Donna Farhi: The Beloved Friend (40 minutes)
This potent recording made live during one of Donna’s retreats, focuses on learning to see oneself as the beloved friend so that Yoga Nidra becomes a conscious act of self-blessing.
Donna guides you slowly and gently through “the body house” moving the body into a profound state of relaxation. This is followed by attention to the breath; awareness of and work with balancing emotions; and finally, an innovative visualization to awaken the listener to the unbounded sense of being that is experienced in deep dreamless sleep. As we consciously embody the felt sense of ourselves as calm spaciousness we open the possibility of bringing this awareness into our waking life.